|Changing A Life, One House At A Time, |
a photo by Kim The Star Princess on Flickr.
You do it because it's right. You do it because that person has a life like yours, family like yours, dreams like yours. You do it because if you were in the same straits as they, you would thank heaven for people who would help you. You do it because the larger community takes care of its own.
Maybe you do it to live your values. Maybe you do it because your friends are there too, and service allows you the opportunity to connect with them and have fun while doing good. Maybe it helps you forget your own troubles for a while, or it makes them feel smaller by comparison. Maybe you do it to model it for your kids. Maybe you even do it for marketing.
The important thing is that you do it. Not just because they need it (although they do, and badly), but because of what service does to your insides. Service raises you as a human being, and it keeps you humble. Service puts your world in perspective. In service you are reminded that people don't all have the opportunity to live the way that you do. They don't all have great stuff, or bodies that operate properly, or minds that can enable them to pull down a great living for themselves and their families.
It's easy to look away from circumstances that are not pretty. It's easy not to notice the need when it's not right in front of you. But service is a mindset, an attitude. Service need not be limited to charitable ventures - you can have an attitude of service at work, and with your family and friends. If you look for opportunities to serve, the opportunities will appear.
Much is written about leadership. The thing is that it's easy to confine the idea of leadership to the person who is in the front, or at the top. Sometimes the best way to lead is not in those places. Sometimes the best way to lead is from the bottom, by choosing the humblest of jobs - just because it needs to be done.